What caused this? Could my hen become a fertile rooster?

schatze

Songster
11 Years
Feb 25, 2011
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One of my wheaten ameraucanas laid a clutch of eggs, all were eaten by a predator apart from one egg. That egg hatched yesterday, and this chick came out.



My wheaten ameraucanas are from a breeder and are not mixed with anything else.

My roosters consist of white bearded silkies, a white favorelles-looking rooster (white skin, 5 toes, beard), and a lavender orpington.
This chick (I call it Frankie) looks a lot like my black copper marans when they were chicks. I have 2 black copper marans--one full black copper marans, and the other I guess is a mix because she used to lay brown eggs and not the very dark brown like my other one.

This chick doesn't have feathered feet or legs, but it doesn't look anything like my roosters, only my marans hens. My hen Pepper stopped laying eggs a few months ago when my roosters Dagger (the white one) and Valentino (the lavender one) matured. I thought she was going through a sort of chicken menopause since she's at least 6 years old. She then started to molt again (she had just finished a molt), her waddles became more prominent, she started to mount the other hens, and then she started to crow. I thought maybe she just started taking on characteristics of a rooster, but now with the birth of Frankie, I'm just confused.

Could this chick come from a wheaten ameraucana mixed with a white bearded silkie (no mixing, from a breeder) or either of my 2 roosters?

 

lizannhollow

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 21, 2014
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From what I understand it is possible for a hen to become a roo. This happens when an ovary is damaged. I believe this causes a decrease in estrogen and a rise in testosterone.

I don't think the "new" roo is fertile though.
 

schatze

Songster
11 Years
Feb 25, 2011
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When she started to crow, that's what I thought had happened. When Frankie appeared, I just got extremely confused. I don't have any black males. Valentino is as dark as I have as far as roos are concerned. The mother, being wheaten, was all yellow as a chick.
 

pipdzipdnreadytogo

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Your lavender was probably the father. Lavender is recessive and affects the black pigmented feathers. Since the mother was not lavender, all offspring would be black split to lavender; basically, black in appearance and carrying lavender. That's my understanding, anyway. Hopefully someone with more knowledge about genetics can confirm (or correct) my response here. :)
 

schatze

Songster
11 Years
Feb 25, 2011
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If lavender is recessive, where did the black come from? The mother is pure wheaten. Do lavender or wheaten carry black?
 

pipdzipdnreadytogo

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Lavender is some sort of dilutant of color, as I understand it. Basically, your lavender rooster is a black rooster, but his black feathers are diluted to lavender because he carries two copies of the lavender gene. I'm not sure how to word it correctly, but yes, Wheaten does 'carry' black in a way (hence why you can also have blue and splash Wheatens). Since you are combining black with lavender, and lavender is recessive, black wins overall. Solid black is also dominant over a lot of color patterns, which is why the chick is pure black and not black/wheaten. It's likely that the chick will have some reddish or brownish leakage as a result of its Wheaten parent, though.
 

donrae

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I agree the lavender Orp is likely the father, and if you have other hens, it's likely the Ameraucana isn't the biological mom. Lavender is black based, and black trumps a lot of other colors when you mix breeds. Hens also like to steal eggs when they're broody.

An older, dominant hen can take on masculine roles with hormonal shifts, but I'm pretty sure she can't grow testicles.
 

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